WVC women's tournament: UC sinks 11 3-pointers to oust top seed Glenville State
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When the University of Charleston women's basketball team hits 10 3-pointers in a game, it wins - unless it plays Glenville State.
The new standard is, when UC hits 11 3-pointers in a game, it wins.
Jessi Cowden nailed UC's magical 11th 3-pointer with 3:36 left in the West Virginia Conference tournament quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center, continuing an 8-0 run en route to the Golden Eagles' 65-57 victory over the No. 1 seed and nationally ranked Pioneers (26-3).
Charleston is 12-1 when it hits 10 3-pointers, the only loss being an 87-84 defeat at Glenville State on Nov. 10 when it was 10-of-45. UC is 11-0 when it makes 11.
This statistic isn't lost on UC or first-year coach Adam Collins, whose 2010-11 team at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin was second behind Glenville State in NCAA Division II in points per game.
"That's our weapon, and, of course, all the other teams have figured that out, so we've had Chrissy (Keir), Nichole (Perry), (Chelsea) Brumby and all the other players been attacking and getting to the rim, sucking them in, and hopefully kick it out to the shooters," senior Jessi Cowden said.
The Pioneers saw a 20-game winning streak come to an end. In fact, Coach Bunky Harkleroad's team had not lost in the 2013 calendar year, last suffering a defeat on Dec. 8, 2012, a 101-93 setback at West Liberty.
The defeat won't likely affect the Atlantic Region chances for Glenville State, which came into the game ranked 12th in the USA Today Division II Poll and third in the region.
"I hope we get a bid, I think our team deserves a bid," said Harkleroad, whose Pioneers have led the nation in scoring the last four years. "The only good thing, if we're going to be working hard for our league, is there will be two of us if we get a bid.
The Golden Eagles (16-12) advance to play Seton Hill (18-12) in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday. The Griffins advanced with a 51-45 quarterfinal victory over Alderson-Broaddus (8-20).
Charleston's strength this season has been its 3-point shooting, and is second in the WVC to only Glenville State in 3-pointers made.
Still, it hadn't made 10 in a game since going 14-of-25 against Bluefield State on Feb. 14.
The Golden Eagles hit 11 on Wednesday, behind a career-high five from Perry. Helping distribute the ball was Keir. The senior had eight assists, giving her 400 for her career, which places her eighth in UC history.
The most surprising development for UC was its defense. The Golden Eagles were 12th in the WVC in scoring defense and 14th in field-goal percentage defense.
They held the Pioneers to 33.3 percent, which still wasn't its poorest showing of the season. GSU shot 19.5 percent in a 102-55 loss to California (Pa.) on Nov. 17.
Charleston also held Glenville State without a point for 6:29 of the second half, holding it scoreless between a Kenyona Simmons layup with 14:14 left and a Jelena Elez layup with 7:45 remaining.
"The girls were extremely active defensively," Collins said. "Close to the first media timeout it was zero to zero. You had more than just that time during the game where both teams struggled to score. It's a credit to how hard both teams were playing defensively."
Perry led Charleston with 18 points, while Keir finished with 14. Three other Golden Eagles had at least eight points, and Tiani Kelly led the way with nine rebounds.
Simmons and Ginny Mills had 11 points apiece for the Pioneers. Simmons also had eight rebounds, as Glenville State held a commanding 48-35 edge on the boards.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at email@example.com or 304-348-4837.